Bigelf – [Album]

Wednesday, 01 October 2008

The new album by Bigelf may leave you wondering more than it makes you feel assured that the boys from L.A. know exactly what they are doing. Their first album, Hex, dished out some amazing samples of who their musical influences are (Pink Floyd, ELO, Black Sabbath, Rush) and danced around the edges of being a prog rock-type concept album. Cheat The Gallows actually is a concept album; the message of the songs implies that something on a deeper level has been realized by the band, a vision or prophecy has been received, as is often the case when concept albums are created.
This time around, the secret messages are a little too hard to obtain and understand, because the sonics of the message are overwhelming. The sounds of many of the songs run together, creating a mushy blend of hyper-intensity in which it becomes nearly painful to endure listening to the end. Showbiz (loaded into a circus theme for some reason), success and the struggle for fame and fortune are show up in the song titles. They are clearly attempting to paint a rock opera-type picture of their own journey, grasping to share a more visual explanation of who they are and how they became so.

One idea to contemplate is that the band have amalgamated the music of their forefathers and made them into something new and fresh. In the video for "Money, It's Pure Evil," two young women—best friends—travel to Hollywood to seek fame and fortune. One girl takes the offer of fame but loses her inner beauty in exchange and becomes a miserable creature. It is only her best friend that still sees her true self and can rescue her. But then too, she falls victim to the lures of fame and is transformed by the trappings of power. Symbolically, this struggle is illustrated in the video by wolves of business seeking out innocent sheep to devour.

The somewhat uniquely modeled songs of Hex—where we could clearly hear Bigelf's influences—are crushed into a melange of David Gilmour-like guitar solos and even some Rick Wakeman-esque Hammond keyboarding on Cheat The Gallows. This alone makes listening to the album worth the time, and may pique interest in the release of their next effort.


“Money, It's Pure Evil” from Cheat the Gallows – [mp3]

Cheat the Gallows is out now. Buy it on Amazon.

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